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aboriginalheritagecouncil.vic.gov.au

Working with Registered Aboriginal Parties

Our work with Registered Aboriginal Parties is extensive.

Caring for Country Projects

These projects support Traditional Owners in undertaking their responsibilities for Country. They provide a space for Traditional Owners to talk about why it is important to protect Cultural Heritage and discuss how it is managed on Country.

  • The Council has partnered with 3KND radio to talk about Caring for Country. The new and deadly segment is a yarn with a different Traditional Owner each month about protecting Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. The program stared on Wednesday 29 April 2020, will continue until the end of 2020 and you can catch it live on the last Wednesday of each month at 8:30am.

  • On 24 June 2020, Council presented a live digital event from the Deakin Edge at Fed Square. Racquel Kerr hosted a panel of esteemed Traditional Owners including Hans Bokelund, Rodney Carter, Jamie Lowe and Rachel Perkins. The panel discussed caring for Country through a consideration of the current legislations protecting Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. During the event, Rodney Carter launched the Taking Control of Our Heritage Discussion Paper on legislative reform of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

Our Places Our Names Projects

These projects support Traditional Owners to reinstate their traditional names for places on Country into the current, formal frameworks of placemaking.

  • The Our Languages Matter program of workshops have created a shared purpose, developed understanding and designed a shared approach that enables all interested people to create change together.

    Since 2018, these workshops have provided opportunities for Traditional Owners to promote the importance of local Aboriginal languages in the naming of roads, geographic features and localities. Importantly, participants from Local and State Government have been supported to explore ways for establishing strong professional relationships with RAPs to enable future collaborative naming activities.

    Council’s Our Languages Matter program of workshops were awarded a prestigious Good Design Award ‘Tick’ in July 2019. Australia’s annual Good Design Awards program is one of the oldest and most prestigious international design awards in the world, promoting excellence in design and innovation since 1958. It is recognised by the World Design Organization as Australia’s peak international design endorsement program.

    Council strives for Aboriginal People to speak for, and with, their Cultural Heritage. Using language in place naming is an important contribution to reclamation and use of Aboriginal languages by Aboriginal Victorians. Traditional Owner managed Language and Country is fundamental to Council’s purpose and to these workshops.

  • Naming unnamed waterways and renaming of named waterways, with Traditional names, is an important step in realising self-determination for Victorian Traditional Owners. Council has released a guide for RAPs to navigate the naming process to ensure that the original names of Country be retained and used across Country. Additional protections are being considered for un-named waterways in Council’s Taking Control of our Heritage Discussion Paper.

Taking Control of Our Heritage Projects

These projects support Traditional Owners to reinstate their traditional names for places on Country into the current, formal frameworks of placemaking.

  • The objective of the Paper is to help everyone, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, Victorian and non-Victorian, have their say on the operation of the Act. The Paper organises proposals for legislative change into themes corresponding to mechanisms and parts of the Act. Each has its own section which explains the key purpose of the proposed change and invites submissions and questions.

    The primary focus of the review is the Act, however, if issues raised relate to the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 these will also be considered.

  • Recently postponed until 24-26 March 2021, Council is hosting the Conference to provide the first opportunity for Traditional Owners and their allies to meet, discuss, and develop programs, strategies and ideas to take control of their Cultural Heritage in Australia.

    The Conference is for all Traditional Owners, their organisations and those that work with them in the promotion, management and protection of Indigenous Cultural Heritage. The Conference program will encompass several relevant themes, prominent international and national speakers as well as a comprehensive social program.

Making Change Projects

These projects provide environments for Council and RAPs to genuinely engage and discuss their work.

  • In March 2020, Council had to drastically alter the Special RAP/Council Forum they were to hold in Bendigo. The Forum was to provide Council and RAPs and opportunity to sit together and discuss the ways the current legislations practically enable the management and protection of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in Victoria. Due to the Stay at Home Directions, the Forum was changed to a teleconference. The direct engagement, RAP Connect, offered by this changed format enabled genuine discussion amongst the RAPs and Council. As needs changed, the new forum continued every two or four weeks and will remain active as a digital based yarn until at least the end of 2020.

  • The inaugural Chair’s Dinner was held in the Federation Room of the Parliament of Victoria on Thursday 13 February. The formal banquet, hosted by Rodney Carter, achieved its objective of providing a social environment for senior Traditional Owners to sit together and discuss how best the primacy of their responsibilities for Aboriginal Cultural Heritage can be enacted by government.

  • The integral relationship between Council and RAPs has been further strengthened during the reporting period through the invitation of RAP representatives onto Council committees.

    Working together to ensure the best practice models are implemented at both a statutory and practical level, RAP representatives are included in Council’s LRRFC. This committee reviews the Act and returns to Council proposals for legislative amendment in the short and medium term. It is also responsible for reporting to Council on the further development of regulatory systems, processes and policies as well as the process of consultation to achieve their development.

    Council has a statutory, cultural and spiritual responsibility to return Ancestors and Secret (or Sacred) Objects to their Traditional Owners. This fundamental work is now reviewed by the Ancestral Remains Policy and Repatriations Support Committee, significantly informed by both Council members and RAP representatives. The Committee provides advice to Council on:

    • research dealing with the repatriation of Ancestral Remains and Secret (or Sacred) Objects
    • the development of relationships with interstate organisations to expedite the repatriation of non-Victorian Ancestral Remains and Secret (or Sacred)  Objects
    • the development of a program of consultation with Victorian Traditional Owners regarding the long-term management of Ancestral Remains that may not be able to be provenanced

Reviewed 25 March 2021

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